Meet the Dogs

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit began in 1986 with a single German Shepherd named Falk, and has since grown to include eight working K-9 teams at stations throughout the county. The remarkable K-9s that serve on these teams are expertly trained to navigate hard-to-reach areas and quickly locate suspects, evidence, narcotics and missing people—helping our officers perform their jobs more safely and effectively.

Our K-9s typically begin training between the ages of 16 and 24 months, and each progresses through the following rigorous training steps in order to develop the skills necessary to protect themselves, their handlers and our community.

Five weeks

Patrol training to become certified in compliance with the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) guidelines

Six months

Serving alongside a handler, who also provides a lifelong home, care and family for the K-9

Four weeks

Narcotics detection school to become certified in compliance with the specific POST guidelines regarding narcotics detection K-9s

Three weeks

 Hard surface tracking school

A minimum of 12 hours

Ongoing training each week and yearly recertification in compliance with POST guidelines

Of course, maintaining a strong K-9 Unit is not cheap. Our German Shepherds are imported from Europe and specifically selected for their genetic abilities and health, requiring an investment of approximately $8,000-$9,000 each. Initial training takes another $11,000-$12,000 investment and ongoing training and care requires approximately $4,000 per year. Funded solely by private donations from citizens, businesses, community groups and other organizations, the unit depends on successful fundraising efforts to address these expenses, and we are grateful for the generous support that enables us to continue serving alongside our incredible K-9 partners.

Fallen Partners

A Tribute to Our Fallen Partners

The bonds we have with our K-9 partners are like no other. We not only serve by their sides over 40 hours each week, we also bring them home with us at the end of every shift. And, when our K-9s retire, we continue to give them love and care for the remainder of their days. They truly become an irreplaceable part of our families and our lives.

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